Time sure flies when you’re having fun. Or, time can be your enemy when self-imposed deadlines don’t materialize, especially those involving major construction projects. Hard to believe but it’s been nine months since our family decided to enlarge Casalago, our fishing/boating/writing retreat at Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks.
Last April after son P drew up the plans, Hubby D secured a highly recommended septic system guy who did most, but not all, of what we agreed he would do. Septic system guy introduced us to an enthusiastic contractor who was confident that between the two of them they could finish our 900-square-foot addition in time for the summer of 2014. Construction was to begin after Memorial Day and hopefully be finished around the Fourth of July. By Labor Day we were still waiting for something, anything to happen. In October P fired the two guys who kept putting us off and our search for a dependable contractor started again. Fingers crossed, we now have the right man who will finish his part in a timely manner so we (as in the homeowners) can finish our part before this summer. And I do mean the summer of 2015.
All of which sent D and me to observe the groundbreaking and initial construction this past week. While traveling to the lake on Interstate 70, we noticed a car parked on the side of roadway, its driver checking out the Ranger Boat attached to his Lincoln Town Car. No big deal, or so I thought until D recognized the guy as our good friend and D’s fishing buddy. Next thing I knew, we’d pulled off to the side and D was calling A to make sure it really was him. Sure enough, and also in the car was J, another good friend and fishing buddy. They were heading to the lake too, intending to take advantage of the 50-degree January weather for a few days of crappie fishing.
Naturally, we invited the guys to stay with us instead of going to a motel. “Only if you let us take you out for dinner those two nights,” they insisted. How sweet was that! They’d countered our offer with one we couldn’t refuse. And said they’d drop by later that day to unpack their things.
After driving another hour or so, D and I decided on a spur-of-the-moment pit stop, at a Route 54 service station that was new to me and D had only used once. And who should we run into there. Yup, the two friends we didn’t expect to see until mid-afternoon at Casalago. Talk about coincidence.
By the time D and I arrived at Casalago, son P was there and had talked to our contractor who showed up when he said he would, along with three workers who’d already started excavating, Later that same day while our friends were out on the lake fishing, P went back to St. Louis, leaving D to contact him with ongoing updates and me to transmit photographic evidence.
That evening D and I went to dinner with our house guests and as promised, became their dinner guests. The next evening a neighbor-at-the-lake friend and fishing buddy joined our diverse group. There I was, the only female with my bakery/restaurant guy plus three other guys—a pharmacist, a caterer, and a policeman. At which point it occurred to me that, except for the restaurant staff, I hadn’t spoken to, or been in the company of, another female for the past three days and those would soon evolve into four with more guys—additional construction crew plus the furnace repairman who responded to our emergency call. Not that I’m complaining, you understand. Having all these guys around sure made my life easier.
Back to our hanging out with the guy friends, what did we wind up talking about? Well, let’s see. Growing up, family life, past and present occupations, international and domestic travel, good food and bad, politics and more politics—a topic I rarely discuss with my girlfriends. But that’s okay. With the guys, we didn’t talk about shopping. Unless it was about their wives shopping, does that count? Nor did the guys talk about sex or tell dirty jokes. So maybe they made some concessions for me.
So what about your casual chitchat? Do you make concessions for the opposite sex?